Last month I suggested that looking fully at the outcomes you want can significantly improve the results you get. This month I want to look at the effect you have on any interaction.

We often forget how powerful we are. Our body language, our voice tone, the words we use, will all affect how well or badly others react to us. We are not usually conscious of this and therefore can take our bad mood, fed-upness etc. into a meeting and wonder why, despite our efforts to be polite and constructive, it doesn’t go well. It is because how we are really feeling shows through despite our best intentions, and has an effect on others involved.

So an important part of our preparation for meetings and conversations takes place just before the event. It is the way we choose to set ourselves up. So often we rush from one meeting to another without stopping for a moment to establish how we want to be in this next interaction, which means we take with us the mood and attitude we finished with in the last one. Now if this was a good meeting and we are feeling good, that could be useful. However, if we have run out of energy or been disappointed, then those are the things we will carry over.

It only takes a few moments to reset ourselves, yet it can make a big difference.

  1. Shake off any negative effects from the last thing you were doing – move your body and release the tension.
  2. If your energy is low, give yourself a moment to recharge your batteries – have a cuppa, look at something to make you smile.
  3. Take a deep breath or two and see yourself having a constructive and useful next meeting.
  4. Set up your expectations that it will go well – imagine coming out of the meeting feeling good about it.
  5. Remind yourself of reasons for the other party to want this to be a constructive meeting as well.
  6. Picture times when similar meetings have gone well.
  7. Take another deep breath, let your shoulders relax, and smile to yourself.
  8. Now go into the meeting.

All this doesn’t take long at all – not much more time than it takes to read it – but it does change your state and give you a much better chance of a useful meeting.

The extra moments used to prepare yourself properly can really make life easier for you. Try it out for yourself and see…

Di Kamp

Leadership Director of Meta

About Jo Clarkson

Jo Clarkson is the CEO of Meta and a frequent writer of the blog.
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